It has been long. We started out this morning by sitting with Karen's brother-in-law as he prayed for us and encouraged us. Such a blessing to meet this man and his family and hear how God has been working in his life.
Our driver arrived at 9ish. It was a wild ride. It had rained hard all night and it was still coming down. There were lots of puddles and slippery roads. Without Pete in the car, this driver resorts to Ch*nese driving. That means he won't turn on the air conditioner or the defrosters. He opens the two front window half way. Sitting in the back, I got a little wet from rain blowing in. At least I couldn't see all the near misses as cars jockeyed for the best position--the windows were too fogged up.
We arrived at the Be*jing airport and had plenty of time to find our way around, check our luggage, go through security, and eat a bowl of noodles before our flight. Most of the flight was clear and we got to see some amazing mountains and lots of terrace farming from the air.
Taiyuan looks gorgeous when the sun shines! Our guide was waiting as we came out of baggage claim. She led us to a van. The driver drove us to our hotel. On the way, Anna (our guide) gave us a breif history of Taiyuan City. She also tried to tell us that adopting an 8 year old wasn't a good idea. Then she informed us that we weren't going to visit the orphanage this week but we were going to some ancient historical city. NOT! We need to work this one out because Claire's orphanage was her home base for 4 years. That is where she was abandoned. It was this orphanage that helped her get to ND to receive the medical care she needed. They want to see her, and we want to see them.
As we were checking in, we discovered that the room was for 2 people. No breakfast, towels, or extra bed for a third. When we tried to correct that, our guide said this room was what 'we requested." Since we never had the opportunity to request anything related to travel, this made me irritated. Then, she told us she would leave us a map of places to go eat. She put McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut. I would not eat at those places if we were home! Taiyuan is famous for its noodles. We asked for a noodle shop and she said we wouldn't be able to order because nothing was in English here.
As we insisted, she finally asked the desk clerk for a restaurant. We had her write the name in Chinese on a piece of paper. With the help of a nice Chinese man on the street, we found the shop on the second floor of a building between a small bakery and another shop. They had pictures on the wall so all we had to do was point at the things that looked good. One of the waitresses spoke a tiny bit of English, too! It was delicious and fun.
After dinner we bought some tarts in the bakery for dessert. We walked home a different way and found dozen's of restaurants with picture menus. So many good things to try!
The one worry now is that Anna, the guide, asked us for some copies of paperwork that is not here yet. I'm so frustrated with Lifeline right now that I could scream.
Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.
My girl is on her way to us. She is coming with her nanny on the overnight train. We will be made her guardians tomorrow morning (if the right paperwork is here) and then the next day will be able to complete the adoption.
Pray that she will adapt quickly to her new life. She is going to suffer grief at the separation from the nannies who have been her family for years. Pray that she will begin to trust us and that bonds will form with supernatural speed. The next few days will be challenging. Please pray that Kelly and I will have wisdom to know how to be what our sweet girl needs.
There is a glorious story of God's love playing out right now. I can't wait to see what the next chapter brings!